• Steve H. Hanke
    05/04/2016 - 08:00
    Authored by Steve H. Hanke of The Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke. A few weeks ago, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) sprang a surprise. It announced that a...

Nominal GDP

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Chinese Economists Have No Faith In 7% Growth "Target"





"My expectation is that under President Xi's term, average growth rates are unlikely to exceed three to four percent. And that's not my prediction, that's the upper limit of my prediction."

 
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The Truth Behind China's GDP Mirage: Economic Growth Slows To 1999 Levels





For the second time this year, China's GDP deflator turned negative, meaning that in addition to any deliberate misrepresentations, Beijing may also be overstating GDP by way of a statistical shortcoming. Ultimately, they're habitually understating inflation for domestic output which means that "real" GDP is probably less "real" than nominal GDP. 

 
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Short Squeeze, Liquidity, Margin Debt & Deflation





Some things you CAN see coming, in life and certainly in finance. Quite a few things, actually. Once you understand we’re on a long term downward path, also both in life and in finance, and you’re not exclusively looking at short term gains, it all sort of falls into place. Of course, the entire global economy has been hanging together with strands of duct tape for decades now, but hey, it looks good as long as you don’t take a peek behind the facade, right?

 
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The Endgame Takes Shape: "Banning Capitalism And Bypassing Capital Markets"





"We believe that the path of least resistance would be to effectively ban capitalism and by-pass banking and capital markets altogether. We gave this policy change several names (such as “Cuba alternative”, “British Leyland”) but the essence of the new form of QE would be using central banks and public instrumentalities to directly inject “heroin into blood stream” rather than relying on system of incentives to drive investor behaviour."

 
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"There Are Five Times More Claims On Dollars As Dollars In Existence" - Why This Matters





According to the Fed, there is about $60 trillion of US Dollar credit or claims for US dollars. Also according to the Fed, there are about $12 trillion US dollars.  So, the data show plainly there are five times as many claims for US dollars as US dollars in existence. Does this matter to investors? Well, yes, it matters a lot.

 
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Deflation Warning: The Next Wave





The signs of deflation are now flashing all over the globe and the possibility of an associated financial crisis is now dangerously high over the next few months. Our preferred model for how things are going to unfold follows the Ka-Poom! Theory, which states that this epic debt bubble will ultimately burst first by deflation (the "Ka!") before then exploding (the "Poom!") in hyperinflation due to additional massive money printing efforts by frightened global central bankers acting in unison. First an inwards collapse, then an outwards explosion.

 
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Frontrunning: September 25





  • Global Markets Rebound on Yellen Speech (WSJ)
  • Obama and Putin to meet; Syria and Ukraine vie for attention (Reuters)
  • Obama to host China's President Xi amid simmering tensions (Reuters)
  • Don't Fall for It, Xi! Chinese Take to Web to Scorn U.S.—and China, Too (BBG)
  • Yellen Confirms Fed Still on Track to Raise Rates This Year (BBG)... but is still China dependent?
  • Abe's New Economic Plan Confounds Analysts (BBG)
  • It's All `Perverted' Now as U.S. Swap Spreads Tumble Below Zero (BBG)
 
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It Begins: Australia's Largest Investment Bank Just Said "Helicopter Money" Is 12-18 Months Away





"Instead of acting via bond markets and banking sector, why shouldn’t public sector bypass markets altogether and inject stimulus directly into the ‘blood stream’?... CBs directly monetizing Government spending and funding projects would do the same. Whilst ultimately it would lead to stagflation (UK, 70s) or deflation (China, today), it could provide strong initial boost to generate impression of recovery and sustainable business cycle... What is probability of the above policy shift? Low over next six months; very high over the longer term."

 
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"Ineffective & Reckless" Fed Is An "Engine of Disaster"





In short, activist Fed policy is both ineffective and reckless (and the historical data bears this out), and that the Federal Reserve has pushed the financial markets to a precipice from which no gentle retreat is ultimately likely. Similar precipices, such as 1929 and 2000, and even lesser precipices like 1906, 1937, 1973 and 2007 have always had unfortunate endings. A quarter-point hike will not cause anything. The causes are already baked in the cake. A rate hike may be a trigger with respect to timing, but that’s all. History suggests we should place our attention on valuations and market internals in any event.

 
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Frontrunning: September 8





  • Sure, why not: China Rebounds as Trade Data Disappoints (BBG)
  • Oh, that's why: China's Stock-Rescue Tab Surges to $236 Billion, Goldman Says (BBG)
  • Can't make this up: German finmin says must avoid reliance on debt, cenbank stimulus (Reuters)
  • Stocks rise after contrasting China, Germany trade data (Reuters)
  • Euro zone second-quarter GDP revised up as Italy grows faster (Reuters)
  • Brent oil rises on European, Chinese data; oversupply weighs (Reuters)
  • Corporate Prosecution Deals Headed for a Legal Test (WSJ)
 
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Japan's Nikkei Flash-Smashes 400 Points Higher In Milliseconds After Abenomics Gets Three-Year Extension





Whether it is due to thin holiday liquidity, due to the BOJ intervening just ahead of its usual time, because Japan's "legendary" Twitter trader "CIS" just went bullish (again), because prime minister Abe just learned he would be reinstalled as head of his ruling LDP party because no challenger had emerged unleashing three more years of unchallenged Abenomics, because Japan's Q2 GDP was just revised modestly higher (to a less negative number) or just because this is how the New Normal rolls, moments ago the Nikkei flash smashed higher some 400 points higher, in a well-choreographed algorithmic frenzy, to take out Friday's high stops.

 
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Whither The Economy?





The great problem with corporate capitalism is that publicly owned companies have short time horizons. As a consequence of the short-sightedness of reformers and Congress, the annual salaries of top executives were capped at $1 million. Amounts in excess are not deductible for the company as an expense. The exception is “performance-related” pay, which has no limit. The result is that the major part of executive pay comes in the form of performance bonuses. Performance means a rise in the price of the company’s shares. The gains in executive bonuses and shareholder capital gains were achieved by destroying the economic prospects of millions of Americans and by reducing the growth potential of the US economy. In the long-run this means the demise of the US as a world power...

 
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US Debt In The Age Of Unrestrained Central Banking





So why did debt levels rise so dramatically after the final central bank restraint was removed? It is essentially due to the massive subsidy central bankers provided. If you tax a thing you get less of it (think all the tax on labour) but if you subsidise it you will get more of it. As time went by, debt obviously grew ever larger and eventually large enough to become an integral part of the business cycle. In other words, central banks could not stop the subsidy for fear of creating, well, a 2008 financial meltdown.

 
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